Weather Slows Thousands of U.S. Fliers on Post-Holiday Trips

  • Winter storms trigger more than 2,000 flight cancellations
  • Airline hubs including Chicago, Dallas-Fort Worth feel effects

Storms and icy weather spawned more than 2,100 flight cancellations across the central U.S., slowing travel for thousands of passengers with disruptions centered on airline hubs in Chicago and Dallas.

Monday’s travel disruptions compounded the woe for U.S. fliers who suffered through almost 6,500 delays and more than 1,600 cancellations on Sunday. Trade group Airlines for America had predicted the day would be the third-busiest of the Christmas-holiday season, behind Jan. 3 and Dec. 18.

Scrubbed U.S. flights totaled 2,146 at 5:10 p.m. New York time, industry data tracker FlightAware.com reported. That tally looked ready to keep increasing because the evening forecast at Chicago’s O’Hare International Airport, a base for United Airlines and American Airlines, called for low clouds, rain and gusty winds.

Counting departures and arrivals, cancellations reached almost 1,000 at O’Hare and more than 300 at Dallas-Fort Worth, the busiest outpost for American Airlines Group Inc.’s American, according to FlightAware. More than 200 flights were taken off the books at Chicago’s Midway, where Southwest Airlines Co. is the largest carrier. More than 3,700 U.S. flights were running late, FlightAware reported.

While Southwest said 8 percent of its flights were dropped and American scrapped 7 percent, according to FlightAware, the impact was greater for American. The total excluded trips canceled by American’s regional partners such as subsidiary Envoy Air, which eliminated almost 300 flights, or more than a third of its daily schedule.

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